The Department of Homeland Security has seized control over a joint BP oil spill website, previously managed by several US Government agencies and BP and intended to inform the public about the progress made in the cleanup effort.
The joint website was managed by US agencies, including the US Coast Guard, and BP to provide daily information about the oil spill and efforts made by both in conjunction with independent contractors to proceed with the cleanup effort.
Effective immediately, the Department of Homeland Security will now control all content and distribution of information to the American and international public.
Secretary Janet Napolitano, head of the DHS, was not available for comment and her office did not immediately return phone calls.
The announcement, first reported by the Associated Press, was frowned upon by many news agencies and reporters. According to a DHS spokesman, the website will change its address from a dot-com to a dot-gov address but the content will remain the same.
Who can actually post to the new website remains unknown but it is believed that the content is under the sole control of the DHS and no articles will be posted or published without the approval of Secretary Napolitano or one of her directors.
While it does not make sense to invent a conspiracy theory at this juncture, it is questionable why the DHS would get involved in an environmental disaster that has no immediate impact on national security and therefore would not be considered to be placed under their control and jurisdiction.
The next few days may shed more light on this puzzling decision, but one can state as a fact that such seizure can only be executed upon direct instructions from the White House.
Written by Nick Doms © 2010, all rights reserved
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